Weird Laws Around The World: Laws are representations of the societal values and standards. All states around the world are regulated by both written and unwritten laws which are intended to put an end to various mischiefs, thereby prescribing certain behavourial patterns for the citizens and inhabitants. Most often, laws can be predictable because it is a reflection of the people’s norms. They are equally matters of the public which can be accessed by people at anytime. Laws are territorial in nature.
This simply means that various laws enacted are meant to apply in specific geographical locations. Thus, it does not constitute a breach of the law if the proscribed acts are committed in a state other than where it is proscribed. However, laws are generally predictable because most societal standards and values are the same. For instance, it is clearly unlawful to commit murder, and this fact is notoriously known and applicable in all countries. But there are certain laws of some countries that are really unusual and weird. One may be wondering the reasons why such laws were made. It is, however, believable that one thing or the other may have led to such laws being made.
Strange/Weird Laws Around The World That Are Crazy
1. Eating, importing, manufacturing or selling of chewing gum is illegal in Singapore: It is illegal to manufacture, import, sell or eat chewing gum in Singapore. This ban on dealings with chewing gum was placed in 1992. What led to the ban was the necessity to keep the public spaces clean orderly. Hence, there was need to cut down the cost of cleaning stuck gums in public places. An event actually led to the ban on chewing gum in Singapore.
Vandals used chewing gums to mess up the transit system which led to the Housing and Development Board spending exorbitantly in cleaning up the space. The ban on chewing gum, however, is not absolute. Certain types of gums are permissible. Specifically, gums that are medicinal and have been approved by the Health Sciences Authority are allowed. This is one of the measures which Singapore has adopted in ensuring a clean and orderly environment in the public spaces.
2. It is illegal to start a car when someone is under it Denmark: In Denmark, anyone who wants to perform any maintenance services or repairs on cars must ensure that no one is under the car at that point. This is not a matter of principle; it is a matter of law.
This is one of the safety measures which the country has taken in order to limit hazards. The law is simple- do not run your engine when someone is under the car. This could lead to death or serious harm if something should go wrong. This extends to any act with a vehicle which is likely to put the life of another in danger.
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3. Hiking naked in Switzerland is illegal: Hiking naked in Switzerland can earn you a jail term or fine. The reason for this express prohibition in Switzerland is based on public morality.
This is regulated by local rules and regulations. Public nudity is, however, not absolutely banned, for it is reasonably allowed in spaces like beaches.
4. Driving a dirty car in some parts of Russia is prohibited: It is illegal to be caught driving a dirty car in some parts of Russia. This law was passed by the Russian government in 2006. It is, however, not certain as to what qualifies as a car that is too dirty, for the definition is not provided by the law.
In therefore entails that the task of determining what constitutes a dirty car is on the body responsible for the enforcement of the law, which are the traffic police. The punishments include fines and impounding the car till the needful is done. The rational for this regulation is to ensure that the plate numbers of vehicles are visible are not covered by dirt. More so, in order to ensure safety and prevent hazards which may occur as a result of fogs occasioned by dirty windscreens.
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5. Using a siren on a bicycle in Canada is prohibited: Using a siren on a bicycle in Canada is utterly disallowed. Under the Highway Traffic Act of Canada, bicycles are not regarded as cars. Only cars may be allowed to use such devices that emit warning sounds.
However, bicycles owned and operated by police officers and other authorized agencies are not precluded from using sirens.
6. In Denmark, parents must name their children from a prescribed and approved list of names: It is a normal practice for parents to name their kids. In fact, parents do name their kids even before birth. The story is different in Denmark. The names given to kids are regulated by the government. The government has a practice of maintaining an approved list of names of about 7,000 male and female traditional and modern names where parents can choose their kids’ name from.
This is quite weird and unusual. The list is subjected to regular review and updates. The rationale for this practice is said to be, for the reason of ensuring that children do not bear names that could be embarrassing. It is believed that such has tendency to impact negatively on their social welfare and development. This law is, however, not absolute. Parents who desire to give their kids names outside that provided in the approved list must apply to the appropriate government authority to obtain permission. The authority has the power to expressly ban certain names. They are also at liberty to reject applications for a particular name if they consider it offensive or unconventional.
7. Owning just one guinea pig in Switzerland is unlawful: In Switzerland, owners of guinea pigs are required to keep them in pairs. Owning just one is unlawful. This is a law made to place a check on animal cruelty. Thus, the rationale is to stop keeping animals isolated from others. The particular regulation of guinea pigs is that they are animals that thrive better when in their own company.
The regulation is encapsulated in the Animal Protection Act of Switzerland which was amended in 2008. It applies to social animals and specifically mentioned guinea pigs. Thus, animals of the same social nature are covered under this law. To own a guinea pig in Switzerland therefore, it must be from two and above. Switzerland is most commended for being at the top of animal rights protection.
8. Restriction on advertising commercial products and services with flags or emblem in Canada: In Canada, it is illegal to advertise commercial products and services using flag or emblem without first obtaining permit from the government.
The rational for this is to maintain the integrity of the country. Such representation is perceived as offensive to the dignity of the country. It does not matter how the flag is represented in the advert. As earlier implied, it is a mere restriction and not an absolute ban. So, permission can be sought and obtained from the appropriate authority. The user when granted must also ensure that all other applicable laws are complied with.
9. Not cleaning your dog’s poop in Capri: In Capri, when dog poop is found in the public space, tests are conducted to trace the owner and fine him accordingly.
This is to maintain cleanliness for residents and visitors.
10. Taking selfie pictures with the statue of Buddha in Sri Lanka: You could get punished for taking selfie pictures with the statue of Buddha in Sri Lanka.
Photos may however be taken by standing next or sideways to the statue or any other permissible manner.
It is seen from the discussions above that most of the weird laws were given rise to by certain occurrences. Thus, this maintains the position that laws are meant to cure target mischief, and it generally represents the standards and values of the people of that region.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.